Re-elect Selectman Mike Akillian

My Platform


I’d like to be re-elected selectman so I can continue to apply strategic governance to:

  • Use taxpayer dollars cautiously and wisely, while providing excellent town services,
  • Maintain a high quality of life for Amherst residents, and
  • Ensure that Amherst is attractive to, and affordable for, people of all ages.

The role of strategic governance is to help leaders and citizens intentionally create a desired future. It consists of two ongoing efforts: strategic thinking and operational governance.  Strategic thinking helps the community decide what to achieve; operational governance focuses on how to achieve it.  Together they constitute applied leadership for municipalities, something I believe has been very beneficial for Amherst.

It can help ensure that tax dollars are spent wisely in delivering quality services for the people who are entrusting us with the stewardship of this exceptional town. That has been the case since we introduced strategic governance into Amherst's town government operations in 2013. And I think it should continue.

With this foundation in place, there's a great opportunity to engage with Amherst residents to explore the future we all want for our community. In two years, the Planning Board will be updating key portions of our Amherst master plan. A master plan is a land use plan that specifies how the town expects to use its land resources over the coming years to achieve important goals embraced by residents.

This can be daunting, because it requires framing a community vision driven by lots of dialogue and brainstorming by residents. Then it requires creating a land use plan covering several distinct categories: Transportation; Community Facilities; Economic Development; Natural Resources; Natural Hazards; Recreation Utility & Public Services; Cultural, Architecture & Historical; Regional Concerns; Neighborhood Plans; Community Design; Housing; and Energy.

For each of these categories, or the ones deemed appropriate for Amherst, there also has to be an implementation plan that covers the ordinances that will have to be updated or created to support and give legal standing to the plan. As a selectman, I'll strongly support the efforts of the Planning Board with the resources they need to create a plan we can all follow for years to come. I've already convened meetings of Planning Board heads and town officials to identify research to be funded in the coming year to support the planning process.

I have a very positive working relationship with the current selectmen, town administrator, department heads, ­and the press. Even in those areas where we selectmen may disagree or see the world differently, we engage in civil discourse, present facts to support our positions, and listen to one another. As a result, we most often get to unanimous consensus, and that serves our residents well. I'm committed to continue that form of engagement and collaboration. 

If you support these goals and feel I've been making a positive impact through my service as selectman, I'd very much appreciate your vote in March to continue this work.